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Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Powwow held to heal, inform

People participate Saturday in the Heritage of Healing Project’s Summer Gathering, a powwow put on by a new local non-profit to education Native Americans about cancer and healthy living. It will continue in Riverside Park today at 11 a.m. Photo by Bethany Schultz

People participate Saturday in the Heritage of Healing Project’s Summer Gathering, a powwow put on by a new local non-profit to education Native Americans about cancer and healthy living. It will continue in Riverside Park today at 11 a.m.
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Inspiring story leads to music, dance in Riverside Park

By Dan DuChene
Sep. 20, 2009    ·    4:54 a.m.


Those who missed a unique experience in Ypsilanti Saturday can head down for a powwow in Riverside Park today and help a new local charity.

The Heritage of Healing Project, a new Ypsilanti non-profit organization dedicated to cancer awareness and wellness education for Native Americans, kicked off a two-day event of traditional Native American singing, dancing and music.

The event will continue today, starting with an awareness walk in the park at 11 a.m. The powwow festivities will start up again at 1 p.m. and last until 5 p.m.

Called the Summer Gathering, the event is the first organized by the organization since it was formed this summer by Ypsilanti resident Shoshana Phillips, of the Omaha nation.

Phillips said of the reasons she formed the non-profit was a 2007 study that found the only demographic in the past 20 years to have increases cancer incidents and mortality rates in the United States. She said the main purpose of the organization is to inform people of the health benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

She said Heritage of Healing will also try to provide a means for children living with cancer to maintain normalcy, such as seeing a movie or museum and having warm coats and boots.

“Little stuff like that,” Phillips said.

Phillips’ inspiring journey to Ypsilanti speaks volumes of her ability to launch this project with her family this summer. She said her and her family lived in Washington DC until 2001. She said she had been experiencing health problems and was eventually let go from her job with the city due to the toll the problems were taking on her work.

Homeless, her husband and two children, now 10 and 12 years old, started living out of their car. She said they would move from powwow to powwow across the country.

“It’s a spiritual way for us,” Phillips said.

She said the gatherings provided sustenance and healing through their culture and the kindness of others. The family eventually settled in the southwest, where Phillips began seeing a doctor through Medicare. Constantly sore and tired, the doctors diagnosed her with fibromyalgia.

“Basically, they said, ‘we don’t know what’s really wrong with you, but we’re going to call it fibromyalgia,’ ” she said.

Phillips lived with her family in the southwest until 2006, when she said she caught wind of research the University of Michigan was performing into her diagnosed disease. She said her family moved to the area to take part in the study.

Blood was drawn during the screening for the study, which lead to a startling call from U-M doctors. They told her she did not have fibromyalgia and should visit a hospital right away. Four days later she was told doctors had found cancer in her bone marrow.

In advanced stage, Phillips said doctors told her she had been living with the cancer undiagnosed for five years. She said the told her she would only live another six months untreated.

After three years, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, Phillips said she feels “pretty good.”

After moving to the area, Phillips and her family got in contact with local non-profit SOS Community Services. She said the group put her family up in a shelter, until they were able to secure low-income housing on their own.

During her family’s time living in their car, Phillips said her daughter had a dream. She said she saw a gathering of people “worse off” than her own family, and were being healed during a powwow.

“This is a realization of that dream she had,” Phillips said.

After this weekend’s event, Phillips said her organization will be working on a dance in the winter to start collecting winter garments for the children she wants to help. She said the Native Americans will be located in several different urban locations, as well as on reservations.

Traditionally, when a powwow is held somewhere it is held for at least the next four years in the same location annually, Phillips said. So, Ypsilanti residents can look forward to participating next year if they can’t make it down today.

For more information, e-mail Heritage of Healing at heritageofhealing@yahoo.com.

To see video for this story, click here



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